Curtis P. Berlinguette


Office: CHEM A333



Research Summary

Reactive CO2 Capture, Advanced Nuclear Fusion, Flexible Automation, Membrane Reactors, Electric Cement


Harvard University, 2006, Postdoctoral Associate

Texas A&M University, 2004, Ph.D.

University of Alberta, 2000, B.Sc.

Research interests + projects

The Berlinguette Group designs and builds advanced electrochemical reactors to power the planet.

Reactive CO2 capture  

Our program has pioneered electrochemical reactors that convert reactive CO2 capture solutions, generated from common air capture technologies, into fuels, chemicals, and building materials. We design electrocatalysts and membranes to build unique reactor configurations that will contribute to a carbon-neutral future.

Electrification of the chemical industry 

Electrification of the chemicals manufacturing sector is needed to reduce CO2 emissions. Our team has invented a membrane reactor “Thor” that drives hydrogenation reactions using only water and electricity, and not at the high temperatures and pressures used by the industry today. Membrane reactors provide an opportunity to electrify and decarbonize the production of specialty chemicals, (bio)fuels, pharmaceuticals, and plastics.

Advanced nuclear fusion 

We build electrochemical reactors to study nuclear fusion reactions at lower temperatures than conventional fusion reactors. Our mission is to combine electrochemistry, materials science and nuclear physics to reduce the energy needed for fusion reactions. We hope to discover a low-cost clean energy source that can scale within the span of a human lifetime.

Carbon neutral building materials

Cement production is currently one of the largest sources of industrial CO2 emissions. We intend to change this by designing and building reactors that use electricity and water, instead of high temperatures, to generate cement. Our electrochemical process offers a 75% reduction in CO2 emissions when making cement and concrete.

Flexible automation and self-driving labs

We build self-driving laboratories that combine flexible automation and artificial intelligence. Self-driving laboratories discover new materials faster than a human can. This approach will help us advance clean energy technologies from laboratory to market faster than ever before. Our flagship system, “Ada”, autonomously optimizes thin films and coatings for solar cells, electrolyzers, and other technologies.

Awards and honours

Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, 2021

Distinguished University Scholar Award, 2021

CIFAR Program Co-Director (Accelerated Decarbonization), 2020-2025

CSC Award for Research Excellence in Materials Chemistry, 2020

NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship, 2018

Full publications link

Selected publications + presentations

Ren, S.; Joulié, D.; Salvatore, D. A.; Torbensen, K.; Wang, M.; Robert, M., Berlinguette, C. P.* “Molecular Electrocatalysts can Mediate Fast, Selective CO2 Reduction in a Flow Cell.” Science 2019, 365 (6451), 367-369.

MacLeod, B. P.; Parlane, F. G. L.; Brown, A. K.; Hein, J. E.; Berlinguette, C. P. “Flexible Automation Accelerates Materials Discovery.” Nat. Mater. 2022, 21, 722-726.

MacLeod, B. P.; Parlane, F. G. L.; Morrissey, T. D.; Häse, F.; Roch, L.; Dettelbach, K. E.; Moreira, R.; Yunker, L. P. E.; Rooney, M. B.; Deeth, J. R.; Lai, V.; Ng, G. J.; Situ, H.; Zhang, R. H.; Elliott, M. S.; Haley, T. H.; Dvorak, D. J.; Aspuru-Guzik, A.; Hein, J. E.; Berlinguette, C. P. “Self-Driving Laboratory for Accelerated Discovery of Thin-Film Materials.” Sci. Adv. 2020, 6 (20), eaaz8867.

Berlinguette, C. P.; Chiang, Y.-M.; Munday, J. N.; Schenkel, T.; Fork, D. K.; Koningstein, R.; Trevithick, M. D. “Revisiting the Cold Case of Cold Fusion.” Nature 2019, 570, 45-51.

Li, T.; Lees, E. W.; Goldman, M.; Salvatore, D. A.; Weekes, D. M.; Berlinguette, C. P. “Electrolytic Conversion of Bicarbonate into CO in a Flow Cell.” Joule, 3 (6), 1487-1497, 2019.

Sherbo, R. S.; Delima, R. S.; Chiykowski, V. A.; MacLeod, B. P.; Berlinguette, C. P. “Complete Electron Economy by Pairing Electrolysis with Hydrogenation.” Nat. Catal. 2018, 1, 501-507.